Tag Archives: Permanent Resident Visa

Flooding memories

Mex and I have some friends that are going throught the same exact process we went through. She just called last night to tell me her husband got his interview notice for July 1st. When she said that I felt sympathy knots in my stomach and the memories of that first week of February flooded back to me…

The mixture of fear and joy when we actually had the date in our hands. The intense panic because we didn’t feel prepared and had so much information to gather. The anxiety over how in the world it was possible to get everything done in a month while still working and squeeking out every last penny you can. The excitement to see Mexico with my husband and meet the family I had heard about for so long. The gut-twisting terror that things wouldn’t work out as we had planned and he may have to stay there.

Those feelings begin tossing us around like a canoe in the ocean from the minute we saw the deadline in black and white on the paper. It wouldn’t have mattered if we had every single paper in order and all of our travel plans made… Just like it didn’t matter that we had been planning to do this before we were even engaged… Over three years of knowing what was necessary to have my husband become a Permanent Legal Resident. I’ve decided that even though it is possible to prepare financially or physically for this, or any challenge in life, it is impossible to completely prepare yourself emotionally.

It reminds me of what another friend told me when she talked about having a child… “I don’t feel ready, but I didn’t last year either. I could keep waiting but, I don’t know if I’ll ever feel ready so we just decided to do it.” Now she is the proud mother of the cutest twin baby girls ever and is comfortable in her new role. I bet she can’t imagine the world without her girls now and those pre-pregnancy worries seem far away. We weren’t “ready” for my husband’s interview notice either but now we can’t believe we dragged out the process for so long. Looking back, it was easy to “wait” before we got his interview date… It was stressful and exhausting from the point of our notice until his actual second interview… But now, we can enjoy life and each other without the shadow that followed us for our entire relationship. We can tour Europe if we want to or hop on a plane to Mexico at any time… Mex can open a retirement account and I can finally make him the beneficiary on all of mine. The little things we didn’t even realize we worried about are now gone… of course we still get to have all the fun ‘discussions’ like “who left the toilet seat up?” “whose turn is it to clean the bathroom?” “you drive like a crazy person!” oh the joys of being together!

Our thoughts and prayers go out to our friends and we look forward to helping them prepare for this exciting (but highly stressful) time.

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Filed under Bicultural and biracial marriage, Immigration, Permanent Resident Visa/Green card

It isn’t really green…

Well, it has been three weeks since we got home and Mexico seems like a distant memory. It makes us both sad and we are trying to figure out when the next trip will be able to happen. Part of that depends on if Northwest Airlines still allows people to use frequent flier miles and when there is a free ticket available. It has also been over two weeks since I’ve entered anything on the blog so I’m guessing I’ve lost most of my readership! =(

I must say that we are both overwhelmed by the number of people who were reading our blog and the support we have been given. We have received letters, cards, emails, and too many kind words to count. It has warmed both of our hearts so much to know there were so many people, some who had never even met us, following our story and feeling so passionate about the results.

Yesterday, Mex got his “Green Card” in the mail. Yay! It isn’t actually green at all. It is shiny and official and even has his fingerprint on it. It does have an expiration date of 2018 (which it freaks me out on a whole ‘nother level to just imagine how fast that date will come) but it doesn’t really expire. It’s like a passport where you just need to send in an application and probably more money and get a new one. Of course, by then we hope he will be a citizen!

Not much has been new for us. We both got quite drastic haircuts… of course we should have gotten them before going to keep us cool instead of now when we need to warm up a little. Just kidding! no complaints about the weather from us! Mex has been working on finishing up some loose ends in his quest for a US diploma. He’s finished two more trimesters of work in this last week (he needs 36 total to graduate) so he’s got about seven done. He’s hoping the long hours he’s been putting in will catch him up from the two months he missed.

Mex is still looking for a job. He would like to continue working in food service so he can get more experience in order to run his own restaurant one day. Let us know if you know of anyone who is hiring! We haven’t tried very hard yet but need to get in gear as the end of the month nears because we were hoping he’d have a job by June.

Anyway, thank you all again for your overwhelming kindness and support. We feel so cared for it makes us smile every day!

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Filed under Immigration, Permanent Resident Visa/Green card

2nd Immigration Interview – the Waiver

My husband was able to schedule his second immigration interview at the US Consulate in Juárez  (his “Waiver” interview to forgive his  status – the one that counts) via the phone yesterday… Although our lawyer had said it would be about two to three weeks in between interviews (and we had heard the same from friends who went through this process his 2nd interview will not be until APRIL 17th!

Yes, we will be gone for a full two months. We are sad and happy at the same time. Now we can at least plan our entire trip over this weekend and make some hotel reservations this next week before we leave. Our friend is going to come down to meet us for a few days at the end of March. We’ll still have over two weeks with his family and we’ll get to see a LOT of Mexico… something we both are incredibly excited about. My husband grew up very poor and his family was never able to travel or vacation.

We blew up a map of Mexico and hung it on our office wall, stretching almost from the ceiling to the floor. It makes the trip a little intimidating but it will be fun. Hopefully, any followers will learn about many places in central Mexico they probably never heard of because we will write about them and post pictures as we travel.

We’ll, it’s only about 6 am which is WAY earlier than my usual “rise and shine” time so this is about all the typing my brain can handle. Until next time!

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Filed under Immigration, Permanent Resident Visa/Green card

Put on notice

Well, we received notice on Monday, February 4th that Mex’s (what I’ll call my husband in blog world) first interview as part of the Permanent Resident process at the US Consulate in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, will be on Tuesday, March 4th at 7:45 am. We had planned on leaving about eight days in advance to take a leisurely drive south, visit friends near Omaha, see a few things in New Mexico and get to El Paso two days before crossing the border to get our bearings before crossing. However, we discovered he must have a medical exam in Mexico two days before his interview. Since they don’t do exams on the weekend, we actually have to cross into Mexico on Thursday the 28th of February so he can go stand in line at the doctor’s office starting at 5:30am. They do NOT take appointments so he basically has to go and hope he gets in sometime from 6am to 11am. Unfortunately, due to the short notice we really can’t leave any sooner than the 24th or 25th so we will be busting our butts to drive the 1500 miles from Minneapolis to El Paso in about two days, leaving us far from refreshed when we arrive.

The good thing is, I think my parents are going to drive with us down to El Paso and then hop over to Phoenix for the weekend to visit some of my mom’s aunts and uncles. They may stay in the area until Mex’s interview on March 4th when he will find out the date of his 2nd interview (the one where they give a final decision to grant his “permanent” spouse green card or not and forgive  his current status). The form is an I-601 Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility. I am very excited because I found out that if they do grant it, he will qualify for US citizenship within only three years. If they don’t grant it he will have to stay with his family in Mexico while we try again (which could take anywhere from six to 18 months.) Only positive thoughts for our journey though.

Between his first and second interviews we hope to take a train ride through Copper Canyon. I had never heard of this gem before we started planning our trip. Spanning northern Mexico’s Chihuahua and Sonora states, it is three times the size of the much more famous US Grand Canyon. It sounds very beautiful and is one of the “1000 Places to See Before You Die.” check! I love lists and checking things off of them, so this book by Patricia Schultz has become my fun (if somewhat obsessive) list of travel spots to hit over the next 60 years. It also has made for a little bit of competition between friends.

After his second interview we will drive 1400 miles down to his town of Tetelilla, Morelos, Mexico. It is a trip we could normally make in two days but all the travel guides warn against driving at night because there are still bandits and animals wandering the highways in some areas and cars don’t always drive with headlights on. Why? I have no idea but I’m not interested in finding out! We have a few places we want to stop on the way down like Zacatecas check! and San Miguel de Allende check! and see the sights of the country. Then we will spend about two weeks with his family before driving back.

In total, we plan on being gone for about six to eight weeks depending on the length of time between his first and second interviews. It should be an exciting adventure but it is very stressful to pack and prepare for that long of a trip, especially with such short notice. We did buy some clothes this weekend and hope to still go shopping today and buy all the toiletries we need and some gifts for his family. However, yesterday I came down with some sickness and have a fever and terrible pain all over my body and can’t breath deeply. Well-timed “death sickness,” a nickname given by college friends to my annual mega cold. Oh well. Maybe a cold will help me sleep better over the next two weeks.

Well, that’s about it for today. I just wanted to post an update about what is happening since when I send out the link to this blog many people will have no idea what’s going on because I had no time to notify them. I will be posting regularly to this blog and including photos during our trip so please check back if you are interested. I will also be available to check my email almost daily so that will be a great way to communicate with me. Well, adiós for now!

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Filed under Immigration, Permanent Resident Visa/Green card, Travel outside MN and Mexico